Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Duality Blurs Reality

Since my childhood I have heard the terms ‘dependent’ and ‘independent.’  I have been taught that it is good to be independent and dependence is a curse. My belief system would still revolve around these two concepts if I had not learned about interdependence. I have found that this term is used quite often in the discourse of spiritualism.
The dichotomy of dependent and independent is particularly used in our society to indicate the financial condition of women. If women earn their own money, they are labelled as ‘independent’ and if they do not, then they are regarded as ‘dependent.’ I do not think that this distinction is politically correct. Those women, who may not have their own source of income are still able to look after their homes perfectly.
In such a situation, men are dependent on women when any household issue arises. To keep a functional family is a great challenge, which women in general take up happily and successfully. On the contrary, men (historically) cannot handle this homely role as skilfully and successfully as women can. So their family roles and responsibilities are mutual here; a wife is not really dependent, and a husband is not exactly independent.
Even when we come out of the family and enter the community, we are interdependent. There are all sorts of people doing their jobs. For instance, farmers grow their crops and consumers buy their products. Both parties are interdependent for their livelihood. Without the former group the latter one cannot have edibles and without the monetary support of the latter group the former group cannot continue their profession. The same applies in other fields of work as well; different people share relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Again, when we step further and embrace humanity, the role of interdependence becomes sharper. The qualities of humanity like love, kindness, forgiveness, sharing and caring cannot be manifested in solitude. Let’s suppose, by the grace of God, someone has all these gems within them. But at the same time they need other people (or beings) in their lives to whom they can express their love or kindness and feel ultimate joy. Thus, givers and receivers are interdependent.
In this vast universe all living beings are interconnected. Spirituality treats them equally. The importance of one being is magnified by the support of the other. It is unfair to tag someone ‘dependent’ when they simply lack one aspect of life (e.g. women not earning) or boastful to label ‘independent’ when they only gain one aspect of life (e.g. men earning). In fact, we all are ‘interdependent.’ The term ‘interdependence’ is inclusive and generous, and more importantly it gives the flavour of ‘non-duality’ whereas ‘dependent’ and ‘independent’ carry the feeling of ‘duality.’ As long as there is duality in life reality cannot be realised, and to realise the truth is the highest purpose of human life. Therefore, let’s practise to be interdependent and to appreciate each and everyone around us who support us directly or indirectly to understand our existence in a better way.   
(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Friday, January 20, 2017) 
[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).